A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

literature
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

KWAMASHU WRITING WORKSHOP (article first published : 2006-12-25)

Young Zulu writers express their views on Beat The Drum, a locally made film that was shot in KwaZulu Natal, and screened at the Kwa Mashu Film Festival on December 17.

The hope for most filmmakers is reaching their respective target audience. For writer-producer David McBrayer and director David Hickson, their independent film Beat The Drum has not only reached South African cinemas after a two-year struggle, but has been screened to an eager group of young writers during the recent Kwa Mashu Film Festival. A group of young Zulu writers, who were honing their writing skills at a week-long workshop held by The Writing Studio and hosted by the Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre, were overwhelmed by the story of a young Zulu boy and his journey to manhood.

"For the second time I have cried over a movie," said 17-year-old Siyabulela Gcabashe. "It teaches a very good lesson on AIDS awareness as it shows that people are still not open about the disease yet it's destroying our nation."

"Beat The Drum addresses serious issues that people are facing everyday, like poverty, homelessness, and most importantly, AIDS," said 25-year-old Nokulunga Khuzwayo.

"I don't have much," said 22-year-old Thembinhosi Buthelezi, " but the film motivated me as I am one of the children who lost his parents at a young age. I think the film must be shown all over the world because of its educational values."

For 21-year-old Zama Zuma, the film echoed his real world in KwaZulu Natal. "I have a father who drives a truck (as the character in the film). We are not open to each other but now I have a way to warn him about AIDS. I'll make him watch it. I now have 80% guts to go and test myself. One day I will have my own Children's Organisation. I will work towards it every day knowing that I can make a difference."

"Beat The Drum shows us that it is never too late to start over, never too late to be happy again in your life," said 16-year-old Gugu Mzobe.

"Beat The Drum talks about things happening around us and speaks to the youth of South Africa," said 14-year-old Thabile Buthelezi. "The film can teach the nation about this dreadful pandemic."

"Beat The Drum changed the way I use to think about HIV/AIDS," said 20-year-old Sicelo Crowane. "I was excited by the way the director chose to tell a story that has been spoken about for a long time, but managed to make you feel you are watching something that is new and never told before."

"The important thing was that Beat The Drum tells the community that if you are HIV Positive, it's not the end of the world and that there will be a new day," said 23-year-old Lucky Cele. "After watching it I was very scared of even thinking about doing sex with someone without testing because of the consequences. It's good for the world to see it."

"It was invigorating to introduce these young writers to Beat The Drum," says trainer and educator Daniel Dercksen, who also conducted a similar workshop in Kwa Mashu last year, and has been training writers throughout South Africa the past eight years. "It allowed the writers, some who have never been to a cinema, to experience the power of a powerful story told well. It also gave the group an opportunity to share a communal experience that afforded them the opportunity to express their own, unique experiences in writing."

During the week-long-workshop 20 young writers were introduced to aspects related to filmmaking and scriptwriting, and were taken through the paces of completing a short film script. "It was inspirational to find that at the end of four days, the young writers not only had fresh stories, but were able to transform their words in action and share it with their colleagues and friends," says Dercksen. "Although there was a power failure at the end of the week, it did not prevent the writers from writing or achieving their goals. It shows that if inspired, there is nothing that will prevent young creative minds from expressing their passion and sharing their unique cultural heritage."

At the end of the week the writers performed a scene from their scripts and the three winners (Zamo Ngubane, Vumelani Mchunu and Sicelo Gowane) were awarded a free Correspondence Course for Scriptwriters by The Writing Studio, worth R5000. Their scripts will be developed through The Write Agency for Sithengi 2008, and showcase unique stories from KwaZulu Natal.

For more information on The Writing Studio visit www.writingstudio.co.za or email info@writingstudio.co.za




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart